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September 16, 2021

PNL wants Teodor Melescanu heard by Foreign Affairs Cttees on relocation of Romanian embassy to Israel. President Iohannis: Nobody from the outside can tell Israel, Palestine how to divide Jerusalem

House lawmaker Ben-Oni Ardelean (PNL) announced on Monday that the Liberals have decided, during their National Executive Bureau meeting, to ask Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu to go before Parliament’s foreign affairs committees in order to explain the Government’s decision to relocate the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We decided today, within the National Political Bureau, that we will summon for hearings and we will make all overtures so that the Foreign Minister comes before the foreign policy committee or the joint foreign policy committees, to explain the following aspects: we want to know the genesis of this memorandum (on the relocation of the embassy – editor’s note), whether he, someone from the Foreign Ministry, some secretary of state from its directorates, or whether his boss, Mrs Birchall, or his hierarchical boss, Mr Dragnea, or Mr Tariceanu came up with this memorandum in a manner as obscure as possible, secretly, [with us] finding out [about it] from the press. (…) We remind Mr Dragnea that the Romanian President is the head of Romanian diplomacy and he must take this into account,” Ben-Oni Ardelean said.

The Romanian President was not informed or consulted about the relocation of the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Presidential Administration announced on Friday, emphasising that the decision is not based on solid and thorough assessments and that “such an overture can only be made following an in-depth analysis that would consider all of its foreign policy consequences and implications.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry points out that a process of analysis and assessment regarding the relocation of the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been launched, and it will also include the consulting of all relevant institutions and actors, in line with the Constitution and the laws currently in force.

Premier Viorica Dancila stated on Friday that she had a phone conversation with President Klaus Iohanis regarding the memorandum on the relocation of the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, that the Head of State will be consulted, and that the document is classified by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.


PM Dancila to pay lightning visit to Israel


On Wednesday and Thursday, Premier Viorica Dancila will pay a lightning visit to Israel, according to official sources, after the Government adopted, last week, a memorandum on the relocation of the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Mediafax informs.

Dancila will pay the visit after Liviu Dragnea announced last Thursday evening that the Government has adopted a memorandum on the start of the procedures for the actual relocation of the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


President Iohannis: Nobody from the outside can tell Israel, Palestine how to divide Jerusalem


President Klaus Iohannis on Monday evening said that an exploratory discussion on the topic of relocating the embassy of Romania in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is not wrong, but stressed that the international legislation on this matter must be observed and if anybody would push for such a move, all sides would lose confidence in the Romanian diplomacy.

“Nobody on the outside can come and tell the State of Israel or the Palestinian Authority how they should divide Jerusalem. It is obviously a matter that must be discussed between the parties involved and when matters become clear, this impediment no longer exists and only then can we talk concretely about moving our embassy to Jerusalem,” Iohannis said.

“I had quite a long talk [with Prime minister Viorica Dancila, ed. n.] and I have talked with many other people. Now I understand that the gov’t wanted in fact to set up a platform of discussion around this topic. An exploratory talk is not wrong, but from there to actually relocating [the embassy, ed. n.] it is a long way. We are in the situation to observe the international legislation, or the international legislation is not a law or an international Constitution, there is no such thing, there are the international treaties. We are part, we are UN members and the UN is tackling this matter very, very clearly and seriously. Numerous UN resolutions exist, resolutions of the Security Council which say very clearly that until the two sides do not come to an agreement, no embassies will relocate to Jerusalem,” Iohannis told the journalists who accompanied him in northern Herastrau public garden, where he made a halt from his cycling to talk to them.

The President maintained that the logistic argument has no grounds whatsoever and added that the European Union has a clear-cut stance on this matter, respectively that no member state moves their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem until the sides in that area come to an understanding on the status of Jerusalem.

Iohannis emphasised that the US too has an approach that is theirs regarding this matter, and yet “We have an approach which for more than half a century has characterised the Romanian diplomacy and we have done there, in the Middle East, a very good job. We have had a balanced, respected diplomatic approach, and the people there trusted us. If we make such a move, all the parties would lose confidence in the Romanian diplomacy. Basically, he who forces such a move would simply trow away over one half of century of important, successful diplomacy in the Middle East.”

The President mentioned that the Memorandum by the Romanian Government on moving the embassy of Romania in Israel has not been sent to the Presidency yet, but that it would probably get there in the coming days.


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